Real wages growth is back

Australia has recorded a return to annual real wages growth faster than expected, according to the Wage Price Index released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today. 

Real wages growth is back, and ahead of schedule.

These are very welcome and very encouraging numbers but we know people are still under pressure, which is why our cost of living tax cuts are so important.

More people are earning more under Labor, and from 1 July they’ll be keeping more of what they earn as well.

The 0.9 per cent rise in the Wage Price Index in the December quarter means wages were 4.2 per cent higher through the year, the equal fastest annual growth since 2009.

This is the first time since 2018 we’ve seen three consecutive quarters of real wages growth.

Since the election, nominal wages have been growing at an annualised average of 4.0 per cent, compared to 2.2 per cent for our predecessors.  

This is a substantial turnaround in just 18 months. 

It means real wages growth returned faster than forecast by Treasury, at the end of 2023 rather than the beginning 2024.

The Liberals want people working longer for less and that meant real wages were falling -3.4 per cent when we came to office after a decade of deliberate wage suppression and stagnation. 

The Government’s cost-of-living policies have helped deliver annual real wage growth to workers, sooner. 

ABS data shows that our cost-of-living policies across childcare, rent and energy rebates directly reduced headline inflation by half of a percentage point in the year to the December quarter 2023. 

Since coming to Government, we have helped secure pay rises for minimum and award wage earners, funded a wage rise for aged care workers, and changed the law to support secure jobs and better pay. 

In addition, the Government is funding more TAFE and university places and investing in strategic industries to help deliver well-paid jobs into the future.  

While annual real wages are now rising, we know Australians are still under the pump from high but moderating inflation and higher interest rates. 

Labor wants more Australians earning more and keeping more of what they earn, today’s new numbers show our policies are helping achieve those goals.

As at 21 February 2024.